Cudicini Tells Truth, Makes Reasonable Points, MLS Fans Go Unhinged

MLS fans HATE Carlo Cudicini for whatever reason. It defies logical explanation, but they do.  Granted they have been fed tons of false and/or misleading opinion, erroneously dubbed, “facts,” about his performance.

If you doubt lies were told about his performances, I give you an exchange Steve Davis and I had in the comments section of his NBC blog last July.  He posted an article entitled Galaxy Need More From Goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini where he goes into great detail about what Cudicini did wrong on two goals.  [PLEASE NOTE – I removed the link when I recently discovered his original post had been SIGNIFICANTLY changed and additional things added MONTHS later.  Since he chose to change the original exchange, I feel no longer required to link to it]

Here is the thing, the analysis Davis offered was completely wrong in my opinion.  The clips he used proved Cudicini was the least responsible Galaxy player, BOTH GOAL CLIPS SHOWED THIS.  I decided to point out what the clips ACTUALLY showed, which for the record, a completely incompetently AWOL backline and a midfield that had no understanding of defensive responsibilities.  Unless I have misunderstood this game my entire life, it is not an entire attacking side against just the goalie.   Much to his credit Davis replied, “Its a fair point… lots of things going wrong for LAG…”  I respect his willingness to admit that.

The reason I bring this up is that it is highly typical of the Cudicini experience in MLS.  He took the fall for a BAD LA GALAXY team.  Someone had to be the fall guy and he spent a season as such… funny part is they did not get better after he was replaced.  They could not win away from home and gave up late goals in the process — Story of the Galaxy Season.

Please spare me your, “I HAVE STATS,” nonsense if you disagree.  As a girl who used to work in polling, here is the big secret: Stats are generally total BS that can be manipulated to say anything the statistician wants them to say.  By the way, much like with Davis.. I have video tape of goals. I win.

Sure he had some horrible moments, every single keeper does.  Every player does.

A few bad moments do not in and of themselves define a player or importantly, plays.  Context is crucially important especially in analyzing goal creation.


Fast forward to yesterday.  The Football Show on SiriusXM had Cudicini on as a guest and in response to a question about the state of MLS responded as EVERYONE high level European player and most of the MLS big-wigs respond.  The almost standard response to, “it’s growing, ” “not there yet,” “fitness high,” but he went on to talk about how the lack of a good MLS TV deal was hurting development.

There was nothing controversial or unusual about his answer, but I get why SiriusXM packaged the interview as they did, controversy, even if just manufactured, draws attention and page counts.  I have been trying to find the full interview but thus far I have had zero luck.  I have just heard the excerpt released on sound cloud which is more than I am guessing most people heard.

In typical crazy, insecure, defensive, paranoid and  irrational fashion, some MLS fans went off on him and his response.  The cray-cray meltdown on twitter was entertaining through my fever-induced haze.   They never disappoint.

Here is the thing, he — like every other player saying the same thing — is correct.  MLS/USMNT players do not have a sterling reputation in the big leagues of Europe.  For every successful player, there are a lot of who headed over to Europe, failed miserably, bounced around lower leagues and usually head home with their metaphorical tail between their legs.  Should we run through the list?

Why so much drama over stating a simple fact?  He did not say, “it’s a fucking joke. They are useless, worthless piece of shit players.  They will never be anything.”  He just said that we are not top European caliber ready for the most part.  If you think he is wrong, name any MLS players who could walk into the starting line-up of a top team in a major European league [Foreign DPs not withstanding].  Go ahead..

There are very few, if any, non-European DP’s playing in MLS who could start in the one of the elite teams in Europe.  Why is it controversial or insulting to say so?

I can only think of Michael Bradley and Tim Howard as starting regularly for a potential champions’ league caliber team in a top league. Each of those teams has shown Champions’ League potential for 1/2 of a season so far.  Sasha Kljestan plays regularly for perennial Champions’ League group team Anderlecht but Belgium is not a top league.  Three US MLS raised players. [Andy Najar could be the big surprised in all of this but let’s be honest, like Bradley, he got the hell out of MLS as soon as he could].

Cudicini just said what is regularly proven in Europe.  MLS is not yet producing elite quality players.

5 thoughts on “Cudicini Tells Truth, Makes Reasonable Points, MLS Fans Go Unhinged

  1. I’m sure at one time Cudicini was a great goalkeeper for the top leagues, but at 39 and after his accident, he was way past it for the LA Galaxy. Evaluating a goalkeeper is subjective, but after his first few games, it was obvious that he was slow, hesitant, not athletic or quick, and a liability. Arena gave him plenty of games to turn things around, but he couldn’t. I think he made one really good save in the time I watched him, which was every single game. This was not a bad LA Galaxy team, even though it came up short in the playoffs, and Jaime Penedo was a marked improvement over Cudicini. I don’t hate the guy, and I empathize with the pain of ending your career on a low note, but fair is fair – he was a bad signing.

    • It was a very bad team… it was a bad team in 2012 as well and none of those issue were addressed in 2013.

      Cudicini took the fall for a bad side that made no attempts to improve. Look at their DP signings, those were simply meant to tread water, not improve the club.

      Penedo is in no way a better keeper. His clearances are atrocious and his ball handling will cost a lot of games next season. LAG fans will all be shocked when he isn’t as great as he was sold to be. I will laugh

      • I agree with Carlo Cudicini’s statements that MLS isn’t up to Europe. It’s obvious. There’s no doubt about that. MLS, for probably the next 10+ years will be known as the “retirement league” of World football. It’s improved greatly with the help of the Designated player rule, but the salary cap really handicaps the league’s growth. I don’t get the hate Cudicini has received for those comments. he’s correct
        This is what I will disagree with, How can you say that the 2012 Galaxy was a bad team? They started off terribly with the Omar Gonzalez injury and poor chemistry in the final third, but from June until December, they were the best team in the league by far. When the back four of Franklin, Gonzalez, Dunivant, and Delagarza had started together, I believe they only allowed 2 goals in 7 games. They were solid defensively and overall, the 2012 team’s only weakness was an indecisive keeper in Josh Saunders.
        Cudicini did received a lot of blame that perhaps was not his fault. Several times he was put in a position in which he couldn’t succeed(away at Portland, SJ, and at Colorado) however, He never once made a “game saving” play that kept LA in a game or preserved points. He was terrible off of his line which made LA’s already weak defense of set pieces worse. There were Games (At FC Dallas 3-3 draw, the goal allowed vs Columbus Crew, and At New York) this season were huge reasons why LA didn’t win the game or at least win convincingly due to poor positioning, not coming off the line, or being way too hesitant.
        Penedo in fact is a better keeper at this point in their respective careers. He’s got a proven track record in CONCACAF and although i agree his distribution is very weak, he’s much a much better a proven keeper going into 2014 than Cudicini was in 2013. In addition, Penedo came up with several big saves down the line to preserve points(Vancouver and SJ stand out.)
        For the most part, i agree with most of what you said. Good article.

      • now it’s 2015 … Galaxy one the cup again 2014 … and Penedo ended up ranking 4th in MLS for the year.

        Yes .. turns out Penedo was the better keeper and Galaxy/fans got it right.

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